Monday, December 19, 2011

Desserts: Butterscotch Sauce

The Salted Caramel Cheesecake I posted here back in September has taken on a life of its own. This is entirely thanks to Pinterest. It got pinned once or twice, and has been repinned and repinned. I'm delighted that so many people are interested in it, but I have to tell you, it's somewhat harrowing as well.
This particular recipe is my own creation, not something I "adapted" from another source. It's rather like looking at your child and hoping that people find him or her as appealing as you do.
At the same time, "salt" is a very personal taste. What you find salty, I may find bland. What I find unpalatably saline, you may taste as perfection. Also, I am very sensitive to both the disappointment that comes from making something for a special occasion that turns out to be less than expected, and additionally to the wastefulness that comes from having to toss 3/4 of a finished dish. So when a few people said it was just too salty for them, I felt personally responsible.
And so I am back today with another dessert concoction, but not a "salted" one. This time I am resurrecting my love affair with butterscotch. From a child I have felt that a butterscotch sundae beat the pants off of hot fudge. True butterscotch (as opposed to caramel sauce, which is what many sundaes are made with) has the same warm, sugary notes that caramel has, but with an added complexity from the molasses in the brown sugar that generally goes in butterscotch. Also, caramel is such a small amount of butter in a greater amount of cream and sugar syrup. My butterscotch is almost as much butter as sugar and cream.
I read dozens of butterscotch and sticky toffee recipes before making this. I thought about including some kind of liquor--rum or similar--but decided to keep it pure. But I did want to emphasize the molasses, so I added just a smidge. I have Lyle's Golden Syrup in my pantry, but I realize not everyone has access to this, so I used dark Karo syrup instead. The difference in flavor is minimal in the finished product.
It took a lot of self control not to eat the whole recipe with a spoon right out of the container. I'm planning on serving this on Christmas Day for dessert with a Brown Sugar and Brandy Pear Turnover served with homemade vanilla ice cream. This isn't the best picture of it--I just shot it with my phone because I was worried that if I didn't, I'd eat it all and then I wouldn't have anything to show you.
Butterscotch Sauce
Makes a little more than 1 cup of sauce
2T butter
1/4 cup + 1T dark brown sugar (you can probably use light, but I had dark on hand)
1/2 teaspoon molasses
1T dark Karo syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
Detailed Instructions
1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter with brown sugar, molasses and Karo syrup. When butter has completely melted, add vanilla and salt and stir to combine.
2. Increase heat to medium, and add heavy cream. Over medium heat, cook stirring frequently until mixture has the consistetency of cream of tomato soup, about 5-7 minutes. It's fine if it's at a strong simmer (lots of medium sized bubbles around the edges) but you don't want the whole thing to boil or you'll end up with pralines.
3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Resist the urge to eat it all as though it were soup. Transfer to a container and refrigerate. The sauce will thicken up as it cools.


Anonymous said...

I want to know what do you mean when you put T.
2T ??
I think your recipe is really good.

Tracy said...

Hi Tessie - An upper case T indicates Tablespoons, a lower case t indicates teaspoons. This is a convention you'll find in a lot of recipes. Sometimes to eliminate confusion, they're abbreviated Tbsp, and tsp. Since I'm sort of lazy, I usually use upper and lower case letters :)

I hope you enjoy the butterscotch sauce. I ate almost all of it myself!